Not all know what PCB assembly is all about. You have heard of it before from seldom do anyone have any idea of what it is. To shed light on the matter, let us explore more on the subject. We are using many devices for personal or business use. In today’s generation, almost everyone, even children own one device. It is because our modern life is surrounded with innovations and technology that are created and designed for our comfort and convenience. Nonetheless, though we own more than one electronic device or gadget, beyond knowing how to use then, we don’t have any idea on how they were created. Only a few people with special skill were behind this task of creating and designing them.
Before these electronic gadgets reach the marketplace where we purchase them, they have gone through a long and complicated process. Nonetheless, regardless of how long and intricate is the process, it all starts with the material – the silicone or other semiconductor materials.Through this intricate and expensive process, smart chips and microprocessors which are used to run your devices are created.
They are created from what they called “wafers” –
Wafers are made from melted and cooled silicone crystals and then later sliced into disks to be used later in making microchips. Without a printed circuit board, these microchips are nothing. They need to be integrated to a quick turn PCB assembly in order for them to activate electronic devices like computers, handsets, and other mobile devices among others. Some companies designs and sell end-products but don’t involve themselves in the manufacturing as equipment used in the PCB assembly is too expensive.
There are some companies who are specializing in the assembly and manufacturing and they offer these services to other companies who are not interested in this line of production. To give you an insight on how an electronic manufacturing and PCB assembly company works, here are some of the steps involved in the making of a quick turn PCB assembly.
Solder Paste Printing
This is the basic binding of a material of the devices in the PCB. During this process, the initial solder paste is being printed to the PCB using a stencil. The initial step in building your electronic is applying the solder to the board. Solder paste is made up of small metallic balls or solder mixed with flux – a chemical that aids in the melting and bonding of metals. The solder is a gray paste that must be used in exact amount and exact places when applied to the board.
SMT Pick and Place Assembly
This where you take all the individual microchips and accurately put them in their proper designated places on the PCB. After the solder paste has been applied, your board will then be moved to the pick and place machine where a robot will automatically grab and position your components into correct places so that they can be soldered to the board. SMT stands for Surface Mount Components.
Reflow or Through-Hole Curing
After the chips were placed onto the solder paste, the board is then placed in a conveyor oven to melt the solder and hence, bond the chip to the PCB.
There are some boards that require a protective coating. The conformal selective coating machine takes care of this by accurately providing a layer of protective coating on the PCB.
AOI and AXI
These stand for Automatic Inspection and Automated X-ray Inspection. This is applied to ensure that there are no factory defects while in the process of assembly.
If there are mistakes or defects committed, they need to be reassembled and reworked to ensure perfection in the quality and performance. Reworking can be done by reheating the board and removing it from the PCB for a new replacement. Each process is complicated and requires extra attention to details and skillful performance. Individual specialist manufacturers are assigned on each PCB assembly process to ensure ultimate performance.